Visitors and schools on climate watch in the Grampians
Thursday 5 December, 2019
Park visitors are helping build a picture of climate change in the Grampians National Park by recording the plants and animals they see on the Venus Baths loop walk.
More than 100 students from Halls Gap, Moyston, Pomonal and Ararat primary schools recently completed the ClimateWatch activity, a ‘citizen science’ program operating throughout Australia.
Easily accessible from Halls Gap, the Venus Baths trail is an easy 2.3 kilometre walk that takes around 30 minutes to complete. Departing from the Botanic Gardens, visitors are asked to record observations on a Field Recording Sheet or by using the ClimateWatch app. Observations include not only the presence of certain birds, frogs, insects, reptiles, plants and spiders, but their behaviours, such as whether animals are feeding, nesting, or calling, and whether plants are flowering.
Victoria’s parks and reserves protect many important environments within a broader landscape that is changing. They play a crucial role in protecting biodiversity, providing clean air and water, regulating climate, maintaining healthy waterways, preventing soil erosion, maintaining genetic resources, providing habitat for native species and pollination.
With one third of Victoria’s flora, a wide range of wildlife and significant Aboriginal cultural heritage values, the Grampians National Park is an important study area for the effects of climate change on the environment.
Parks Victoria hopes that more people will complete the activity on the Venus Baths trail as part of long-term monitoring of local species and their changing behaviour. People can do the walk at any time, while school groups can contact Parks Victoria at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about ClimateWatch, the trails where you can participate, and to download the app, visit: www.climatewatch.org.au
Quotes attributable to Hannah Auld, Community Engagement Ranger–Parks Victoria:
“There are many simple ways to help care for our national parks, such as by staying on formed tracks and taking home our rubbish.”
“The ClimateWatch trail at Venus Baths offers an easy entry into citizen science, helping to build a picture of how a section of the Grampians environment changes over time.”
“Anybody can participate, and it’s been so encouraging to see local schools showing the way. I’ve been amazed by how much the students already know about the local environment and the threats facing our native plants and animals.”